Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So glad that wasn't me!

So, I woke up late and drove to work today instead of riding my bicycle. As I got close to the office, an ambulance came through the intersection, lights and siren going. I thought nothing of it until I got up to the next light where the ambulance was pulled over, assisting a downed bicyclist. He looked okay mostly, but kind of shaken up. I'm glad that wasn't me.

The guard at the front lobby was relieved when he saw me and found out for sure I wasn't the guy the ambulance came for. (When I ride my bike I bring it through the lobby and into the building to store it in an unused office.)

Later, at the office, I heard someone say that the bicyclist ran into the back of the car of one of my coworkers. I talked to him about it, and he said he was surprised it was only a bike that hit him; he was sure it was another car from the force of the impact. He said the guy hit his car just as he was starting out when the light turned green. The bicyclist said his brakes didn't work too well and he didn't realize it until it was too late. Apparently after running into the back of the car, he bounced off the pavement pretty hard and got knocked out (no helmet). A lesson for the kids watching at home: ALWAYS WHERE A HELMET!

This was on the access road next to a freeway, at the end of a long downslope. This hill is part my cycle commute into the office; I've come down that hill and I can see where he could come into the intersection going too fast. The other guy I sometimes ride with said his bike's speedo gets above 30 mph with just a little light pedaling (and going back up that hill in the afternoon is a pain!) At 30 MPH, bicycle brakes don't work instantly and I guess the guy just didn't leave enough stopping distance.

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